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Gathering 2006 Journal, Part 1
June 22, 2006
(Largely uninteresting (except to me!) pre-arrival stuff snipped.)
LAX does the most efficient airport arrivals I've ever experienced. I arrived, got my luggage almost immediately, and was ready to go. Except for finding a way to the Hyatt Valencia. I called the hotel, and they recommended a shuttle service. However, falling prey to my usual geographical ignorance, I assumed a taxi ride to Valencia would be just as good. So I hailed a taxi... and subjected the both of us to a 45-minute drive that cost me about $100. Not making THAT mistake again.
After arrival and check-in, it was time for food. After ordering some pizza, I called Garrett, who was eating dinner at Outback (if only I'd arrived an hour earlier, I could have went along). After he returned, and my pizza had arrived, I went to the room he was sharing with Ed and Leo (Ed's brother) and we chatted at length (mostly about rpgs). I still had some pizza left over- 3 no-longer-warm pieces- and I hated to see it go to waste, so I dropped it off at the con suite. After an awkward moment when I became aware I was an unintentional partycrasher with a lame gift, I quietly left and went to sleep.
June 23, 2006
First thing- assess the surroundings. Hiked out to the nearby mall, and fulfilled two unexpected needs- a toothbrush and mp3 player headphones. The whole time, I kept getting funny looks from the locals. (Garrett later advised me that it was probably my unintentional "Damien" hair.) After returning, I signed in at the con, and hung out with Garrett, Ed and Vince for a while prior to Opening Ceremonies. Red Robin lunch, and then we saw Nacho Libre (weird, but interesting).
Opening Ceremonies started 45 minutes late. (Fortunately, that degree of lateness was not repeated.) Then, we had to watch music videos soon after the ceremonies began. Now, if we'd had a 45-minute delay and had regular opening, that woulda been fine. If we'd had on-time opening and the videos, that would have been fine. But both together? That was enough to make me, Garrett, Ed, Vince (and a few others) walk out after the third video started. We waited approximately a half hour to let the videos run their course, then returned- unfortunately, a bit late. (Unfortunately, I missed Greg Bishansky's video, which I wish I'd seen on the big screen. Oh well.)
We only got bad new news this year- the fact that Season 2 Part 1's sales weren't encouraging Disney to release Part 2. (The good news, the release of the comic, wasn't new news.) Thus, Greg Weisman requested that we begin proselytizing for Gargoyles, with each of us trying to reach 1000 people. Quite a request, I'll do my best... Afterwards, we received "Gargles" toothbrushes from Quindar, and I stuck around for MGT3K (which focused on the "Dracon saga"- "Deadly Force," "The Silver Falcon" and "Protection"). Just prior, met a new fan friend, Cathie.
After MGT3K was done, I wandered a bit, and met or talked with Blaise (who told me of the life of a Hollywood extra), Blaqthourne and Crimson Fury, A Fan, Tigris Euphrates and Onyx. I tried to maintain my workout schedule at the hotel's fitness center, but the facilities were too limited to do me much good. So I went to sleep instead.
June 24, 2006
Started out the day with Garrett, Ed and Vince. We had a TGI Friday's lunch (breakfast for me), and then Vince drove us to Brave New World Comics, where I picked up some Arabic comics and Garrett bought the Gargoyles comic. (Me, I'd bought mine literally the day before I left for the Gathering.)
After we returned, I hit the dealer's room, and acquired the Phoenix Gate Anthology, Grimorum Arcanorum Anthology, and Archmage of the Universe from Tim Morgan. I also got a second copy of the Gargoyles comic (for autographical purposes), which David Hedgecock was kind enough to sign. He also offered to draw me a sketch, an offer which I happily accepted. (I wanted Coldstone, but as he hadn't worked with that character yet, I asked for Demona instead.)
The Gargoyles writing process panel was next, which was quite interesting. (First time I was able to see Michael Reaves and Brynne Chandler.) Greg Weisman again referred to the "Weird Macbeth" and "four tricksters" stories, as well as notebooks' worth of stories conceived after the show, all of which he hopes to tackle in the comic book given enough time. Next stop was the Darkwing Duck panel, including Tad Stones and Jim Cummings! Very cool, especially given the rarity of a Jim Cummings convention appearance! (Too bad he had to go home early when his wife became ill.) One interesting new tidbit- apparently, in addition to an origin of Negaduck episode, they also planned to do a Posiduck episode. Stones also said he wanted staffers to have a "comic book cover" in mind for each Darkwing episode, like they had back in Silver Age DC comics.
The Radio Play was "The Mirror," apparently the original script rather than the broadcast version. (There were a few small bits here and there that were new to me, such as a scene of gargoyle-fied humans being kind to gargoyle beast Bronx, and a line from Broadway- "Here they come!") Thom Adcox was Lexington (of course); Keith David was Goliath (naturally), and the fan playing Elisa Maza looked a little overwhelmed at times! Crispin Freeman did an interesting Hudson, and Blaise did an excellent Broadway/Bill Fagerbakke impression.
With the Radio Play finished, I chatted some with Greg Bishansky, then I sat down with Lexy and Solstice (where we agreed that the art on the Gargoyles comic was fine, thank you very much). Unfortunately, I had to cut the chat short when Garrett invited me to Olive Garden for dinner via cell phone. (Probably my best meal all weekend, though!)
After a short time in my room, I decided to head for the Blue Mug-a-Guest. En route, I got some water, and a hotel staffer asked me about the convention, and talked to me about how she'd liked the show. I situated myself in a corner of the con suite, near Gside, Taleweaver and Blaqthourne and Crimson Fury (which also turned out to be right next to the couch where the guests- Greg Weisman, Thom Adcox, Crispin Freeman and later, Keith David- sat). The Blue Mug-a-Guest itself wasn't as "blue" as I expected, but still interesting. Lots of gargoyle biology questions (of the general rather than prurient nature); Keith David also started a discussion on why there weren't more shows like Gargoyles, shows aimed at multiple levels instead of a certain demographic.
Unfortunately, we were producing too much noise for neighbors' and hotel staffers' taste, so we left the con suite and headed downstairs. The plan was to reconvene in Ballroom D or E, but when we got there, it was locked. Some of the crowd wanted to resume in the foyer outside the ballrooms, but a hotel staffer nixed that idea. For that matter, he wouldn't even let us talk outside in the parking lot, and threatened to call the cops when we started to get cranky! Greg Weisman finally stepped in, and told us (over the unreasonable resistance of the staffer, who wanted us gone immediately) that the Blue Mug would resume after the Masquerade. He then told us to return to our rooms, which we did (unhappily).
It was unfortunate that this particular staffer seemed to have a problem even allowing me to announce that we were going to reschedule for the next night. He made no friends for himself or the hotel. I sympathize that he had a job to do, but we were not being unreasonable. He told us to leave the suite and we did. He told us to leave the foyer, and we were in the process of doing that as well. But he has literally zero patience. Threatening to call the police over a NON-rowdy group of hotel guests, who were simply trying to make an alternative plan (and needed literally less than two minutes to do so) was beyond overkill.